Junji Ito Collection : The Crossroads Pretty Boy / Slug Girl

Episode 3

Another two stories for us. Whether they are fun, terrifying or just damn gross we’ll have to wait and see.

First up The Crossroads Pretty Boy which was kinda subtitled The Lovesick Dead was more of a ghost story then anything else. It was a strange one and I wasn’t too sure what to make of it.

Crossroad Fortunes seem like a completely stupid idea anyway, wait to meet a stranger on the crossroads at dusk and ask them for your fortune. Like why would people take it seriously?

Ryuusuke as a kid was asked by a stranger if her love would be realised, she’d been having a affair and asked a young kid who probably didn’t understand what she was talking about if her affair would last and she’d live happily ever after with the child she was having. Obviously being a kid Ryuusuke thought she was silly and basically told her so. How was a child meant to know how desperate that woman was? Being told she was silly EVEN BY A CHILD meant that she went and killed herself, a guilt that Ryuusuke then carried with him and was made worse when Midori, the girl he was in love with, turned out to be the niece of the woman he feels he killed.

In present time whilst he’s moping about Midori and her aunt and what he did, which was basically as a child tell a woman the truth because he didn’t have the world knowledge to understand that the woman needed a gentle touch, the Crossroads Pretty Boy is showing up and basically being a bit of a dick. I just don’t get why you would get so upset by a random stranger telling you that your love won’t be realised that you would go kill yourself, especially as the Pretty Boy actually had a reputation as someone who told fortunes.

But then it got a bit ghosty as Ryuusuke started seeing ghosts in the fog which makes me wonder what the hell the Pretty Boy actually was and whether or not the victims of his fortunes actually died because they talked to him instead of because of his fortunes. I mean he sent the girl that liked Ryuusuke completely nuts and her transformation, whilst not scary or weird, was sad really.

I don’t know that was the story I liked the least so far.

As for Slug Girl it was just…. I don’t like slugs anyway I’m going to tell you that and it was perfect body horror kinda stuff. You guessed by the name that she’d turn into a slug and I was kind of disappointed that they put the title on in the middle of the story instead of at the end like they did for the first. It was a short story to end the episode but it was effective in making my skin crawl as the slug popped out of her mouth and the ending. Well the ending was gross and sad. The image of the slug wearing her head like a shell…. Just lets never talk about this one again shall we?

Weakest episode so far.

Is the series working?

The problem is that these are just short, short stories. I mean there isn’t too much more you could really do with the Slug Girl story to make one whole episode about it, the same with the doll one from episode one. I know they missed explaining some of the dreams in the Long Dream and you could have made a whole episode out of it whilst things like Souichi, the Fashion Model and I am making a guess at the Pretty Boy might be a bunch of short stories that you couldn’t making one long story out of without taking one or two episodes to do it justice but at the same time aren’t complete enough for you to feel like you’ve had enough story told in one episode.

I’ve enjoyed it so far. I think I didn’t like the Pretty Boy story so much maybe because out of the three serial stories told it was the one that I felt ended on a cliffhanger instead of a “this is part one of many short stories” kind of vibe the others gave. Slug Girl did what it had to do but the longer part of the episode just never really had its moment of glory whilst I think the other two did, whether you liked the comedy side of Souichi or not I think you can agree it felt like a contained story instead of part one of something much longer. I mean I’m only GUESSING the Pretty Boy story has more to it because its one I have no idea about but if it doesn’t have anything else to go on then its just a poor ghost story.

Not sure on it to be honest but at the same time I am enjoying it overall.


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